Product Added : January 31st, 2013
Category : Books
"This Best Selling The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. Reprint Edition
I was out of the comic book reading hobby for several years, but I have to say that I was glad that i came back to reading comic books again. One of the first titles that hooked me this second time around was Kirkman’s The Walking Dead for Image Comics. I have to say that its taken the current renaissance of zombie films and books and ran away with it.
Using the same slow, shambling zombies that Romero first made popular with Night of the Living Dead and its subsequent sequels, Kirkman continues the story where Romero usually ended his films. All those times people have wondered what happened to those who survived in zombie films need not imagine anymore. Kirkman has created a believable world where the dead have risen to feast on the living, but has concentrated more on the human dynamic of survival in the face of approaching extinction.
I won’t say that the story arc collected in this first volume has little or no zombies seen, but they’ve taken on more as an apocalyptic prop. One can almost substitute some other type of doom in place of zombies and still get a similar effect (as was done in Brian K Vaughn’s equally great series, Y: The Last Man). What Kirkman’s done is show how humanity’s last survivors are now constantly, desperately adapting to a familiar world through unfamiliar circumstances. Characters from the start make the sort of mistakes regular people would make when they don’t know exactly everything that is happening around them. Instead of chiding these people as one reads their story, we sympathize and hope for their continued survival.
I am hopeful that the rest of the collected trades will be equal to and maybe surpass this first story-arc. Already kirkman’s done more to realizing the universe Romero created than alot of the hack filmmakers who have taken Romero’s idea and cannibalized it for their own profit. I consider The Walking Dead as a must-read for anyone looking to find something different from all the costumed superhero titles.
Let’s talk, for a second or two, about the coming Zombie Apocalypse, the subject of Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s ambitious and brutally beautiful graphic novel series “The Walking Dead”.
Let me break the bad news to ya, big guy. You’re not going to survive it.
Everyone watches zombie flicks with the notion that they’ll survive. They’re going to be one of the shotgun-toting mall-rustling heroes when it dawns on everybody that the Army ain’t showing up.
Well let’s put it to you this way: the Zombie Apocalypse is coming, and you’re not going to make it. You’re going to go get your mail, or be carrying your groceries out of the supermarket, and that’s when you’re going to meet your first Zombie. You’ve got a billion things flying through your noggin, Champ: pick up the kids, college tuition, your crazy stock portfolio, war and rumors of war, bio-terrorism, the big presentation at the Office tomorrow.
The Zombie is very Zen. It clears its mind. It has one single, driving purpose: it wants to sink its yellow tusks into your flesh and sample a little human pad thai.
Isn’t that the way it always is—these things, like summer guests, always occur when you’re just not prepared?
That’s the guts of “The Walking Dead”. Writer Kirkman states out front that he’s less interested in a straight-out horror story—zombies springing out of the darkened woods and chowing down on some filet-au-Bob—than he is in exploring the dark thickets of the human brain exposed to what Kirkman calls “Extreme Situations”.
The story follows Kentucky police officer Rick Grimes, thrown into a coma after a routine traffic stop goes bad. Just like “28 Days Later” he wakes up in an empty hospital. He buzzes on the nurse call-button; nobody shows up to help him. Which is, as we will shortly find out, probably a good thing.
Why? Because the hospital—most of it, anyway—is a tomb. Dead. Silent. There’s a corpse, supine, fallen between elevator doors, his guts exposed, partially devoured. But for that single dead man, Grimes finds, to his horror, the hospital is deserted.
Of course, there’s the matter of the lunchroom, stuffed to the grills with the Living Dead.
You could call it “While you were Sleeping”, but it’s not romantic, and it certainly isn’t a comedy. While Grimes was out cold, the World Ended. The Dead Walked, and ate, and infected. Civilization ground to a halt. His town is dead; his house, run down; his wife and son, missing. The neighbor’s house claimed by squatters. Word is everyone has gone to Atlanta, where the military has cordoned off the city and is protecting civilians. Grimes, in search of his family, in search of answers, takes a police cruiser and heads South.
To be sure, in zombie flicks I always root for the flesh-eaters, and here, whatever Kirkman says, you’re reading “The Walking Dead” to see zombies, not follow a soap opera. But happily, Rackerton invests enough details in these characters to make them compelling: each has an agenda, obsessions, private vices, prejudices.
In other words, real people.
It certainly doesn’t hurt Kirkman’s story to have an artist as fine as Tony Moore bringing his vision to life. The black & white panels, the shadings, the crispness of the art—all of it is gorgeous, helping to accentuate the horror, but also to highlight the brutal beauty of a world gone feral.
Life, say the Buddhists and Christians, is Suffering. Suffering shapes us, molds us, ennobles us or breaks us apart. This is what is at work in “The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye”: you see the characters change, shift, mutate, evolve—into stronger creatures, true, and into weaker, viler, sneakier creatures as well.
But if this is a hard world, Tony Moore’s artwork makes it a bleakly gorgeous one. Take a hard look at the scene around a campfire in a wintery wood, seconds before horror intrudes: the downy snow, the shaded woods of the thicket, the faces sunk in shadow, backlit by the fire.
Some scholar once said that the Living can never stand up to the Dead: they are too many, and their hungry, avid minds are not freighted with the conscience of the Living.
Kirkman and Moore have put that contention into question in their first auspicious volume of the “Walking Dead”. Doubtless the Dead will Walk, and the Walking will die—but who will survive, and what will become of them?
I’m hungry for more.
All right. So I walked into this comic store and spotted this graphic novel on the shelf and bought it. Why not? I dig Brian Keene. I dig Romero. Why the heck shouldn’t I dig this?
I took it home. Read it. Read it again.
The next day I was back in the comic book store, hunting up volume 2. And volume 3.
I’m a believer. This is such a well written thoughtful story. The zombies are secondary to the plot and charecterization. It kind of reads like a soap opera B-movie. Wonderfully compelling. I handed it off to my wife, who hates zombies, and she loved it.
Like the dead things we are, we’ll keep coming back for more of THE WALKING DEAD. I recommend this one highly.
Brilliant artist Tony Moore takes a superb script by Robert Kirkman to give us a fresh retelling of the “zombie world order” horror story. Inkwash over pen and ink works perfectly to convey a human tale of survival at the end of civilization. This book is a character study with examples of courage, cooperation and compassion balanced by equally well rendered paintings of human fear and envy. I usually walk by black and white comic books, but this one wouldn’t have been as good in color. 2004 is not quite halfway over, but I doubt I’ll read a work of fiction this year I’ll enjoy more.
Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye (Image, 2004)
Days Gone Bye is the first installment of what Robert Kirkman promises will be an epic graphic novel. (As I write this, Days Gone Bye has been out for less than a year, and vol. 3 is due to come out any day now; Kirkman is really cranking away on this one.) While it opens with one of the most common scenes in modern zombie lit, Kirkman’s stated intention is very different than much of what we’ve seen recently, and at least in the first installment, the practice goes hand in hand with the theory.
Rick Grimes is a Kentucky cop who gets himself shot at the opening of the story. He wakes up from a coma some time later to find a deserted hospital. Upon searching, he finds that the walking dead of the title have pretty much taken over the planet. Rick heads for Atlanta, seeking his wife and child, and meets up with a group of survivors. While zombies form the frame of the story, what’s at the core of this book is the dynamics between the survivors; the zombies are just the spice to their meat.
This is exceptional stuff. If the series continues to be this good, I can easily see it taking a place beside Watchmen on my very, very short shelf of the graphic novels I liked so much I actually went out and bought copies. ****
Ask any given zombie fan what their favorite zombie flick is.
Chances are they’ll name something from the Romero catalogue.
Ask the same zombie fan what their favorite zombie book is;
if they have an answer at all, it’ll probably be “The Walking Dead”
DO NOT EXPECT A GOREFEST.
Of course there is blood and violence.
But that’s not what’s at the heart of this ongoing series.
This black & white tale is totally character driven.
You’ll love some, and hate others,
but regardless you’ll always be sad to see them go.
I laughed, I almost cried (if you have a wife and kids you’ll understand)
I flinched, I yelled into the pages.
From soup to nuts, this series has got it all.
Some interesting zombie ideas too(ie: they hunt by scent)
If you call yourself a serious fan of the zombie sub-genre
you need to own this.
Hell, even people who aren’t too crazy about zombies should own this.
This isn’t just a good zombie series
It’s good writing in general
And (dare-I say) possibly the greatest piece of graphic literature put to paper.
Long after you close the back-cover it’ll stay with you.
And trust me, you’ll be buying the rest of them once you’re done.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Individuality is the only thing that separates us from the undead.
I bought this book basically on the title alone. I was very happy with what I found inside. This is a story of a man that awakens from a coma to find the world overrun with the undead. The story is very reminiscent of Romero’s films, very character driven with the zombies as part of the background and not a goofy gorefest. Great plot, great artwork. It’s highly addictive (for myself and those I’ve loaned it to).
Robert Kirkman is the new King of the Zombie genre. I could care less if it angers the hardcore legions who cling to the flag planted by George A Romero over thirty years ago. In no way does that diminish Romero or his importance any more than the Beatles to Elvis or Lady Gaga to Madonna. I am simply stating that the crown and scepter have been passed.
I’ve been accused of having a “man-crush” on Kirkman. Don’t care. From the moment I cracked open The Walking Dead, I felt I was seeing something special. It was a feeling that hasn’t been replicated since that chilly September afternoon in 1979 when I walked into Tanasbourne Mall and took my aisle seat for a double feature (back when theaters showed two movies together). The headliner was actually Beyond the Door, followed by Dawn of the Dead.
For those of you who wait for the comic book run to finish and get compiled into a single volume graphic novel (like me), I will be reviewing all of the Kirkman series. That said, let’s start with Volume One: Days Gone Bye.
The story begins very reminiscent of 28 Days Later. Our central protagonist, Rick Grimes, is a policeman shot in the line of duty. He wakes up in the hospital to a world quite different from before. After finding his wife and son gone, he heads to Atlanta thinking that they might’ve gone to the city on government advice and that is where his wife’s family live.
Things only get worse for Rick as he discovers that the zombie problem is far beyond epidemic stage. Shortly after reaching Atlanta, he meets up with a band of survivors camped outside of town. It just so happens that his partner, wife, and son are in this group.
The rest of the story serves as a well-crafted introduction to the cast of characters. There are some distinct personalities in the group and some nicely placed underlying tension. Enough cannot be said about Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn’s artwork. He renders an assortment of facial expressions that truly help to convey a range of emotions from smoldering jealousy to snarky disapproval. You really get a vibe from the group as well as the individuals.
Episode 1 leaves the reader in shock. The conclusion is so startling and, when you take the time to ponder it, viscerally upsetting. By the last page, it is clear that you, the reader, are witnessing something special. Day’s Gone Bye is a wonderful gateway in a world that Robert Kirkman has masterfully crafted. He does not earn the title King from one entry, but since this is a series of reviews, I will act as spoiler only in saying that by the time I reach episode 5, I’d made up my mind. All hail the new King of Zombie horror.
In his introduction, Robert Kirkman says that the best zombie films are really about the characters and are a reflection on society.
He further states that his goal was to work in this tradition.
He succeeds. Big time.
This book is a total winner. I cannot wait to devour volume 2.